Kishida, Biden to vow peaceful use of outer space at April summit | Space

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden will commit to promoting the peaceful use of outer space next month in Washington, officials with knowledge of their upcoming summit said.

Their commitment will be aimed at preventing the deployment of nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in outer space. It comes after the White House disclosed last month that Russia is developing an anti-satellite capability.

The officials said Wednesday that the leaders’ pledge is expected to be included in a joint statement to be issued in conjunction with the April 10 summit.

Combined photo shows Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) (Kyodo) and U.S. President Joe Biden (Getty/Kyodo)

Japan and the United States have been working harder to strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of their decades-old alliance amid increasing security challenges, such as Russia’s deepening military ties with China and North Korea.

In January last year, Japan and the United States agreed to expand to outer space the scope of U.S. defense obligations to Japan under Article 5 of their security pact.

With the United States, Japan is also seeking to take the lead in creating rules to prevent an arms race in outer space.

When Kishida holds talks with Biden, they are set to reaffirm the importance of the Outer Space Treaty, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The 1967 treaty, which has been ratified by major powers including China and Russia, prohibits the use of nuclear weapons in outer space.

Biden is set to host Kishida for talks and a state dinner on April 10. The following day, Kishida is slated to address a joint session of Congress and take part in a trilateral summit also involving Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

It will be the first visit to the United States by a Japanese prime minister as a state guest since 2015.

At a U.N. ministerial meeting on nuclear disarmament held in New…

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